I consider myself to be somewhat of a trendy person. I may not follow every trend under the sun, but I am in the know about them, and will usually do research if I don’t understand what one is. I’m also a lover of memes and internet jokes. There is one meme that I cannot stand, however, and that is the Tide Pod Challenge.
Though it is unknown how this fad started, it’s gained widespread popularity over the past month or so. Teenagers and young adults alike are posting videos of themselves biting into the laundry detergent packets and promptly spitting the soap out, or even frying the soap up over a hot stove to make it seem more flavorful. The videos have caused a meme to spiral out, likely because people who don’t participate in the Tide Pod Challenge find it funny that people are risking their lives over this.
I, for one, am not in that group. I personally find this trend stupid.
I did consider myself a Tide Pod user at one point though. Yes, I regularly bought containers of the popular soap sacs before they became cool. It was when I was in college and, admittedly, had a lot going on in my life. But my decision for purchasing Tide Pods wasn’t so I could have some snacks between classes, oh no. It was for something even greater: doing my laundry.
The detergent packed into a Tide Pod is made specifically to clean your clothes. I know, for some of you this may come as a shock, but it’s true. Tide Pods first hit store shelves in 2012, and have since been known as a helper in washing your clothes. They’ve been around for so long that it’s honestly shocking that teens are suddenly deciding it’s a good idea to bite into the packets themselves.
This is a very dangerous action though. Ingesting them in any way, shape, or form can be highly toxic. In fact, beyond speaking out against the sudden ingestion of their pods, Tide has tweeted at numerous people who have bit into the pods and urged them to call Poison Control as well as their local doctor. Teenagers may be willing to screw around with this, but Tide is not.
It seems that Google isn’t willing to put up with the challenge either. Upon hearing about the increased number of incidents involving Tide Pod ingestion, they have begun removing the videos from YouTube.
Now, I have ranted on and on about why I think chewing on these pods is dangerous and downright stupid, but there’s more to the problem than that. A lot of children are able to get access to these videos and images, just like they are with Logan Paul’s shenanigans, as I have previously explained. Children are much more curious about the world than teenagers and adults are, and seeing images of people eating something colorful like a Tide Pod may seem intriguing to them. You can guess where that will lead to next.
There have been a number of incidents involving young kids and Tide Pods over the years as it is. Do we really want that number to increase at the hands of some dumb internet trend? It’s more than just “natural selection” or watching some silly video. There are lives at stake too. It's great that YouTube is standing against this, but it won't help unless people stop trying the challenge altogether.
My plea to all of you is simple. Be a smart person. Don’t eat Tide Pods.